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UK Lockdown (3) day 181, In days of old - reading after dark was a dificult task.

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posted by Neil Moralee alias Neil. Moralee on Sunday 4th of July 2021 08:34:48 PM

In 1709 the United Kingdom Government introduced the candle tax. A tax was payable by candle makers on each candle they manufactured. In addition, the making of candles by private citizens in their own homes was forbidden, unless they had a licence, (don't want any of those dissident poor people reading now do we). To avoid the candle tax, many citizens quite rationally, stopped buying candles or making their own. This was tax planning at its best and demonstrates how citizens will change their behaviour to avoid unfair taxes. As the citizens still needed a source of lighting, they instead switched to making rush lighting. Although rush lighting provides light just like candles, it was exempt from the candle tax. A rushlight is a type of candle or miniature torch formed by soaking the dried pith of the rush plant in fat or grease. Although cheap to produce, rushlights major flaw was that they only provided light for 10-30 minutes. The candle tax was repealed in 1831. By the late 19th century, Price's Candles, based in London, was the largest candle manufacturer in the world. With the 1879 invention of the incandescent light bulb, the candle making industry declined rapidly. From that point on, candles came to be marketed as more of a decorative item than a source of light. You can see all of the "Lockdown 3 self portraits" at :- Stay safe, get vaccinated when you can. (The ends in sight but its still not over yet ).

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  • Published 12.04.21
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